Goal! Soccer is Coming to UMSL
Written by: Mackenzie Wilson
Interviewed by: Harjas Singh
Soccer has fallen off the lips of many people now that the World Cup has come to an end. Unless you are a die-hard soccer fan, you probably only watch soccer during the World Cup, or maybe not at all. But what if I told you that soccer is coming to UMSL? Not just our school team, but a team you can even play for fun on a Friday night. That's right! Alexander Orywell started a Friday Night Pick Up League that anyone can join. Alexander Orywell is a Business Administration major minoring in Sports Management. He chose this path because he wants to work in the business side of the sports world. Harjas interviewed him and a couple of other students about the league.
This Friday Night Pick Up League was put together in 2022 and Alexander wanted a chance to “play and watch soccer on campus. [Before] the only way to do that currently is being on the official UMSL soccer team, so with this club, I want to help those who enjoy soccer to do that besides not being on the official team. I want to make these Friday events more organized for years to come. Additionally, I just want to get more people to come out and to just help people try out soccer in a safe and fun environment.” Before he came to UMSL, there were pick-up leagues but they were unorganized and he wanted to change that. A typical Friday consists of people coming to the rec center as of 5 pm. There will be pick-up games, with no set teams, and just create teams with the players there. Games will normally play for around 2 hours. Alexander had been playing soccer since he was three years old and wanted to keep going without joining a grueling team associated with a university. His end goal for this league is to “Start a real team and start a Kansas city soccer league. Hopefully, this will get more people interested in soccer. We hope to participate in the (https://www.kmsl.club/) Kansas Missouri Soccer League, which is made up of clubs from schools in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Illinois.”
A player Harjas interviewed was Zachary Lenz. Zachary has attended around five Friday games and he started coming to the Friday pick-up games because he was invited by the president. He has been playing soccer for ten years and he “feels free and all my stress is taken away [when I play soccer] and [I] just enjoy hanging out with friends and playing a sport I enjoy.” Jake Hubbard was another player interviewed. He is majoring in Social Work because he likes to help others. He began going to the games because “I enjoy playing soccer and being able to hang out with friends that also like soccer.” Jake has been playing soccer for around a year and his goal with the club is to “expand the partnership with St. Louis City SC and be the premier soccer student org at UMSL.” So if you find yourself free on a Friday night, head on down to the Rec Center around 5 pm and play a little game of pick-up soccer with your friends and who knows, you might make a couple of new ones as well.